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Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 20th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Situation update: Cases in Minnesota are 
    • Increasing at a very high rate
    • Currently very underestimated
    • The exact number of cases is quickly becoming less and less meaningful (in part due to significant lab delays for test results)
  • In mid-December and early January, Omicron likely accounted for about 80 percent of cases in Minnesota; these numbers are preliminary
  • Have seen a sharp increase in hospitalizations in the 18-24 age range (76 statewide in the most recent week for which data is available)
  • Overall hospitalizations statewide also increasing again
  • Recap of new quarantine and isolation guidance
    • At Augsburg: Communicated via email since our last meeting; Outbreak Planning site has been updated accordingly
    • With shorter isolations and quarantines, high-quality masking in the second 5 days is especially important
  • COVID-19 testing
    • Significant supply chain issues remain
    • New federal free (antigen) testing program
      • Delivery starting late January via USPS
      • MDH looking into how to order these tests for delivery to residence halls
  • MDH is seeking personal vaccination stories and stories about people changing their mind regarding vaccination (send to Stephen Jendraszak if you have a compelling story in mind, student, faculty, or staff)
  • A main priority topic of conversation in the MDH meeting was about getting students vaccinated/boosted in higher education. 

Dashboardupdates

  • Week ending 1/15/22 is at the 3% mark, as anticipated – there will be another meeting today about considering extending additional mitigations another week. 
  • Moodle roster updates – “out for covid” dates remain visible after the end date
  • In the COVID Task force meeting the Deans mentioned that they want faculty to be as supportive and flexible as they can be with students missing class right now. 
  • Another main point brought up in the COVID Task Force meeting was that if you are not feeling well, please stay home.
  • Will use Census Day roster going forward
  • Email sent earlier this week to all students eligible for booster, many have uploaded their booster cards since
  • Delay in bulk mask orders (seems to be easier to get individual supplies)-to be delivered at end of January
    • Initial N95 mask order won’t be delivered until the end of next week; ordered some KN95s for interim (delivery may be on Monday) 
    • Augsburg Day Student Government also using funds to purchase some high quality masks for students
  • Additional mask resources shared in the COVID Task Force meeting: 

On-campus booster event update

  • There has been a preliminary discussion with MDH
  • A survey was put out to students and about 150 students said they would take advantage of such an event if it worked in their schedule
  • A booster event has been requested for 200 people- currently waiting on a response from MDH

Optional reading

ACHA update

Main themes of the meeting today

  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If you have any questions about a specific situation, fill out theself-reporting form and/or email helpline@augsburg.edu and someone from the response team will be in contact with you to answer your questions. 

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. No additional questions were asked in the Google form this week.  Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, January 13th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

MDH Updates

  • Seeing large numbers of new cases in Minnesota; test positivity rate has jumped up to the highest level of the pandemic, but hospitalization rate has not followed suit (though it is still in the high risk range).
  • Still seeing significant increase in clusters on campuses.
  • Quarantine and isolation
  • MDH has adopted the new CDC guidance and applied it to higher education
  • Isolation: If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, stay home for at least 5 days. If you do not have symptoms or symptoms are resolving, and are fever free without fever-reducing medication, you can leave your home after 5 days, but continue to wear masks whenever you’re around others for the next 5 days
  • Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, you do not need to stay home. Wear a mask for 10 days and test on day 5 if possible. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
    • Up-to-date means: You have been boosted, received your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna within the last 5 months, or had the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.
  • Quarantine: If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 and you are not up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccination, stay home for 5 days and wear a mask around others for another 5 days. Test on day 5 if possible. If you develop symptoms, get tested and stay home.
    • Not up-to-date means: You had your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna more than 5 months ago and are not boosted, you had only one dose of Pfizer or Moderna, you had the J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago and are not boosted, or you are unvaccinated.
  • Travel guidelines for quarantine and isolation
    • Do not travel if you are sick or in isolation.
    • After isolation, avoid travel until a full 10 days after your symptoms started (or after positive test if you had none).
    • Do not travel when in quarantine unless you get a negative test on day 5 and remain symptom free. If you travel when awaiting test results and test positive after reaching your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return.
  • Training for COVID coordinators today
    • Guidance on reporting cases and case follow-up
    • Guidance for athletics and dining
    • The goal is to have a communication with these updates sent on Monday
  • COVID testing supply chain issues continue
  • Updated masking recommendation: Wear a high-quality (N95 or KN95) mask whenever possible. If that’s not possible, wear a well-fitting mask with at least two layers of tightly woven cloth. You can layer a disposable mask and a cloth mask to increase effectiveness.
    • Don’t wear face coverings made of thinner, looser, of single layer fabric
  • Question asked in the meeting by COVID Task Force Member: “Will we discuss how this will affect remote work for student workers? HR sent a notice out before break making sure students work ON campus.”
    • Dawn responded by stating that there is no answer right now, but if we do move toward remote work, we will have to come up with guidelines.
  • Sarah Griesse mentioned in the meeting that they are concerned that they won’t be able to move students to isolation housing on campus due to not having enough space. If that occurs, they may need to update guidance on how students can quarantine in their own space.
  • Guidance for international students who completed their primary vaccine series using WHO-approved vaccines not approved in the U.S. and are now seeking a booster.
  • Athletics guidance for omicron
    • 2 or more cases on a team, recommend a 5 day pause, unless the 2 cases are connected elsewhere (i.e. roommates)
    • Ideally, test those exposed every day for 5 days (other options given the lack of supply of tests)
  • $200 vaccine incentive for families who get all kids 5-11 fully vaccinated between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28.

Dashboard and current actions underway

  • Rebecca John stated that there is a good amount of information that still needs to be updated on the Augsburg COVID site. They are going to try to get it updated as soon as possible and hopefully no later than Monday.
  • Henn/Ramsey: now at 1000+/100,000 cases and 25%+ percent positivity
  • New mitigations on campus announced via email Tuesday
  • Need to confirm guidelines for the 5 “masked” days (esp. for isolation) in terms of residence halls, dining, other campus activities
  • Will update Outbreak Planning website to include new isolation guidelines (for all) and new quarantine guidelines for unvaccinated/partially and previously vaccinated individuals.
  • Recommendations for response to COVID-19 transmission in higher education is taken from MDH: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/schools/iherecs.pdf
    • As of right now, the guidance is stating to put additional mitigation measures in effect which were announced on Tuesday.
    • If we enter into sustained transmission the guidance will continue to be adjusted and reevaluated.
    • At this time, there isn’t a plan for moving all classes online. The plan right now is to work with faculty members on a case by case basis.

Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul new requirements

Full Emergency Order 2022-4 (Minneapolis)

Star Tribune summary

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

One year of Augsburg Staff Union!

Dear Colleagues,

Today marks one year since we officially won our union.

Like many things about Augsburg University, our union is exceptional.

We’re the first union of private university staff members in Minnesota history!

We organized our union almost entirely during a global pandemic.

Like most unions, we organized it from the ground up. It started long before January 2021. We took no shortcuts. One conversation at a time until it was clear that an overwhelming majority of us wanted it.

Despite the administration slowing bargaining down, we’ve won major changes that have already taken effect:

  • 2022 healthcare premium increases cut by half
  • Permanent spot on Covid-19 Task Force and other safety committees
  • Permanent spot on University Council
  • Guaranteed cost of living increase for 2021
  • Sick time credited to all members who get a Covid vaccine or exemption
  • Stewards elected

Here’s to another year of solidarity.

There’s no question that it has been a difficult year for everybody. The challenges that every new union faces have been amplified for us by the pandemic. As members of the Contract Action Team, we are so proud of our colleagues for joining together in solidarity during this long fight for a better Augsburg.

The entire Augsburg community stands to benefit from our contract proposals. Our families, our children, our spouses, all stand to benefit from this contract. Even the administration will benefit from the clarity, transparency, and structure our proposals provide. Our contract will make Augsburg a better, more sustainable place to work.

Let’s continue this work together. Stay tuned, we’ve got an exciting 2022 planned.

Covid 19 Task Force Update

Header: Agusburg Staff. Augsburg Values. Augsburg Contract.

Dear Colleagues,

  • The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, December 9th. Here are today’s meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.
  • Minnesota Department of Health Updates:
  • There is an increasing case count in the 18-24 age range: 3,000 last week compared to 2,000/week recent trend.
  • Positivity rate and hospitalization rate have both increased in the week after Thanksgiving.
  • Delta remains the predominant variant in Minnesota, but there is a lag in the reporting of that data (about a month).
    • Omicron variant in MN, now identified in 20+ states.
    • There is probably community spread of Omicron in MN, but the extent is unclear.
    • Transmissibility and virulence still not clear.
    • Preliminary clinical information from South Africa suggests no unusual symptoms; asymptomatic infection remains possible.
  • Testing options
    • The Department of Administration has a list of testing vendors (with contract pricing) we can use.
    • State supported BinaxNOW for higher ed will continue into early next year.
    • MDH can still help with testing for surges and clusters.
    • The State will continue to operate Vault testing sites until some point that has not been determined yet; when it changes it won’t be all at once.
  • Federal mask requirement for transportation extended through March 18
  • Healthcare worker students (vaccinated) who are close contacts of a positive case may return to class but should wear a mask
  • MDH has issued a health advisory about flu on higher ed campuses
  • They urge us to communicate with students ahead of holiday and share the usual reminders
  • Preliminary survey results from 90 higher ed institutions
    • 79 percent have masking requirements
  • A COVID-19 Task force member brought up the idea of doing an on-campus event to promote boosters.
    • Student government has voiced support for doing an on-campus booster event.
    • Stephen Jendraszak will follow up with Rebecca John about this.
  • MDH will have the weekly meeting next week, then cancel the following two unless something urgent comes up.

Dashboard Update:

  • Regional case rates rose substantially in Hennepin and Ramsey counties during the week following Thanksgiving, and test positivity in both counties moved into the high range (>10%).
  • On campus: multiple new confirmed cases this week; 14-day on-campus student cases already > .5% for the period ending Saturday, 12/11. The response team is drafting an email to all students reminding them to stay home if they have symptoms.

Other Updates:

  • A COVID-19 Task force member stated that departments are requesting a restock of ‘back up’ mask supplies for next term, and they asked if we can support them. There was not a definitive answer concluded in the meeting.
  • The COVID-19 Task force discussed whether or not to meet Dec. 23 and 30. Pending approval from Rebecca John, those two meetings will be potentially canceled unless something comes up.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Proposal for an immediate change to Parental Leave

Header: Agusburg Staff. Augsburg Values. Augsburg Contract.

Dear Colleagues,
Over the last several weeks, the Staff Union Bargaining Team has been working on an updated Leave article, including Parental Leave. Monday night during bargaining, the Union Bargaining Team proposed a Letter of Understanding that would allow the University to immediately institute a New Parent Leave Policy.
The policy would provide up to 6 weeks of paid leave–separate from your accrued sick leave or vacation–to the parent of a newborn, newly adopted, or newly placed foster child. Either or both parents may use it within a year of the birth, adoption, or placement, and the benefit applies per child. If an employee is ineligible for or has exhausted FMLA leave, they can still use up to 6 weeks of new parent leave as defined in this proposal.
The administration was supportive, even excited, to agree to six weeks of paid leave…but they do not want to institute this policy until after the contract is finished. 
The Bargaining Team told the administration that they see no reason why this policy can’t go into effect immediately, especially if both parties agree with the language. (The parties signed similar Letters of Understanding to speed up implementation of the upcoming 2% annual raise, and regarding 2022 insurance premium increases.)
New Parent Leave is a big deal for us. Many Augsburg staff members are new parents or expecting. This policy isn’t an abstract legal exercise. This would have a real, tangible effect on us and the health of our families, and would help Augsburg keep pace with other universities which already offer a similar benefit.
We urge the administration to sign this Letter of Understanding immediately. We go to the bargaining table again on Thursday, and there is no good reason to withhold this improvement in our workplace.

Covid 19 TF Updates

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, November 11th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

Minnesota Department of Health Updates:

  • Cases remain “high” in nearly all MN counties. Campuses are continuing to do well, but the concern is about a large uptick in hospitalization and the 9% statewide positivity rate (substantial per CDC definitions).
  • MDH recommends institutions of higher education continue with the mitigation practices they have in place during this time.
  • MDH also suggested encouraging:
  • Masking/distancing off campus.
  • Promoting boosters (everyone in higher education is eligible).
    • Six months after Pfizer or Moderna.
    • Two months after J&J (booster for J&J is recommended).
    • Providing recommendations for Thanksgiving:
    • Layers of mitigation (vaccination, distance, testing, masks) are important.
    • If anyone has symptoms, they should stay away from gatherings.
    • Keep the gathering small (less than 5) – Any gathering increases the risk of infection for everyone.
    • Space out the furniture to encourage distancing.
    • If high-risk people are in attendance, consider getting others tested.
    • Lay low before you go.
    • Unvaccinated people should test before they go home and/or before they visit vulnerable people.
  • CDC has no recommendation for additional dose if the original vaccination was a non-FDA approved type (e.g., for international students). CDC and FDA are working on this.
  • MDH expects to shift how it partners with Institutions of Higher Education for contact tracing (focusing on clusters and surges vs individual cases) – Updates and training planned for December.
  • Assessment of classroom transmission – only 1 secondary infection confirmed.
  • Vaccine 101 training Nov. 23, 1 hour, 9am and 3pm.
  • New event guidance is expected to be published by the end of the week.

Dashboard Update:

Campus Operations:

  • Expanding designated dining spaces in Hagfors — an announcement will be sent before Saturday for classes on the weekend.
  • There are still COVID Policy holds that are preventing students from registering for classes. Working with students to reduce that number.

Covid-19 Task Force Elections

  • Later this month, we will open nominations to run for the permanent Augsburg Staff Union position on the Covid-19 Task Force.
  • Please join us at the November 17th Town Hall at Noon to learn more about this position. Register for the Town Hall here.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Covid 19 TF Update

Dear Colleagues, The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, November 4th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative. Minnesota Department of Health Updates:

  • Cases remain “high” in nearly all MN counties – significant recent increases in regional rates.
  • Vaccination now available for children ages 5-11.
  • Updated CDC guidance for higher education
  • Vaccine 101 Training will be on Nov. 23rd, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • COVID coordinators, residential staff, campus life, student leaders, athletics, faculty, etc. are welcome to join.
  • The COVID Task Force is working on gathering more information on how to join for those interested.
  • This will be shared with potentially RAs, student government, and other student organization leaders.
  • Discussion of boosters for those in higher education settings. Getting a booster is recommended for higher education.
  • MDH will consult on whether/how they would advise us to track boosters. 
  • Anyone who is living in a residence hall can get a booster.

Dashboard Update: 

  • For comparison: less than 60% of all Minnesotans 18-24 have at least one dose. 
  • Last week’s on campus cases of COVID was 5. 

Campus Clear Stats: 

  • Much like September, half as many reports in the Campus Clear app overall vs a year ago (this Oct 4,966 vs last Oct 10,739). 
  • Higher percentage of that 4966 total is faculty reporting (14%) vs last Oct (6%). More faculty are participating this year. 

Campus Operations: 

  • Exploring expanded dining areas in Hagfors. The Mpls Operations team to discuss further at their meeting on 11/4. 
  • Continuing indoor mask mandate. 

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. The following question was requested in advance of the meeting: 

  • Q: Explain more please … “During the MDH meeting, there was a discussion of what not to use antibody testing for.”
  • A: Here’s more detail on what MDH said about not using antibody tests:
  • Antibody tests are not to be used to diagnose acute COVID 19 infection. 
  • Antibody tests are not recommended to assess for immunity after infection or after vaccination. 
  • Not recommended to determine the need for quarantine after exposure. 
  • There is no identified correlation between antibody levels and immunity.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form. 

Covid 19 TF Update

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, October 28th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

Minnesota Department of Health Updates:

  • MDH suggested keeping the masking requirements indoors through the end of November.
  • During the MDH meeting, there was a discussion of what not to use antibody testing for.
  • MDH has an updated K-12 decision tree which can also be used in the higher education setting.
  • MDH is preparing training for those sharing reassuring and accurate vaccine information with the community.

Dashboard Update:

  • We are continuing to see a low number of cases per week– both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
  • Vaccination numbers (students and faculty/staff) continue incremental improvement.
  • Regional transmission is still very active.
  • Testing Access Update:
    • A summary of testing opportunities will be discussed with Augsburg Day Student Government regarding how to use and share the information.
  • Communication Update:
    • COVID Policy hold communication has been sent to students, with information to faculty and staff who may get questions from students.
  • Federal approval of booster vaccinations added to Outbreak Planning site.


We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. The following question was requested in advance of the meeting:

  • Q: When an Augsburg staff, student, or faculty member gets a booster to their COVID-19 vaccine, do they need to or are they encouraged to report that info to Augsburg? If so, how?
  • A: Dawn Miller addressed this briefly during the meeting. HR is waiting for more detailed guidance from OSHA about federal requirements. Employees are welcome to upload their booster information on the Human Resources page, but this is not a requirement at this time. As more information is clarified, this question will be provided a fuller answer at a future meeting.


Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Header: Agusburg Staff. Augsburg Values. Augsburg Contract.

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, October 21st. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative.

Minnesota Department of Health Updates:

  • 3,000 cases of COVID-19/week in the 18-24 year old range in MN (down from 4,000/week in previous report).
  • Statewide positivity (8.3%) and hospital usage still very high (higher than spring 2021 “alpha” wave).
  • MDH encourages higher education institutions to maintain strong indoor mask policies and other campus mitigation efforts. Transmission rates are good on campuses in general, but MDH is seeing transmission in the community.
  • Vaccinated individuals are 6.4% of total cases in MN and 1.4% of vaccinated have tested positive for COVID.
  • Students (specifically) can use community sites for routine testing, but institutions should list it as one of the options.
  • CDC change to guidance: Vaccinated individuals should get tested 5-7 days after exposure. The website will be updated with this information and the Response Team will update their communications.

Dashboard Updates:

  • The latest vaccination report is available on the Dashboard website.
  • There is also a link on the Dashboard website to a new CDC report about risk of infection and death for unvaccinated individuals.

Testing Access:

  • Doing an on-campus testing event will most likely not be happening at this time.
  • Students, Staff, and Faculty are encouraged to go to People’s Center for testing. No appointment is necessary, but you can also schedule appointments via phone.
  • In the meeting, a member of the COVID Task Force asked, “Do you need to be symptomatic?” The answer that was provided was that this question did not come up in conversation with People’s Center when discussing testing.
  • The COVID tests are an oral swab test. The results are provided in a phone call, and they will leave a message only if the test is negative.

COVID Policy Hold:

  • Emails have been sent to students about getting their vaccination cards or exemptions submitted. Students have been responding to these emails.
  • The question brought up in the meeting that a student could ask was, “What’s going to happen if I don’t follow through?” Overall, the answer addressed in the meeting was that Augsburg is really trying to work with students on helping them be in compliance at this time.
  • A point brought up in the meeting by a member of the COVID Task Force was that Faculty will need clarity on how they can answer questions from students about compliance with the vaccine mandate.
  • More information will need to be provided about the hold to deans to share with faculty.

Indoor Mask Mandate Discussion:

  • 2 year history of campus/regional case rates
  • Main question proposed in the discussion: At what point, under what conditions, and in what contexts, might we reduce campus mask requirements?
  • Some other metro area schools have similar mask mandates as Augsburg, and many are comparable to our situation with respect to commuting, visitors, etc.
  • Student government was in support of keeping the mask mandate unless community spread was lower.
  • Setting a metric (vs a date) for lifting the mask mandate could be helpful, but the COVID Task Force will still need to have a conversation about the context at that time that the metric is met.
  • Questions and Comments posed in the meeting:
    • Is there a sense of urgency about changing what appears to be working?
    • What does it mean if we had to reinstate masks if rates went up?
    • If there is a change, we need to be very clear about when/if people can take their mask off.
    • Masks are becoming a habit.
    • With the holidays coming up, there may be an impact on rates we don’t know yet.
    • We’ve followed the science to date.
    • Masks send a message that we care about people’s safety. We are protecting the community.
  • Overall, this was primarily a discussion about benefits of the mask mandate at the present time.
  • It was also discussed how it will be important to talk with the faculty senate and staff senate as well about any potential future changes.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. The following questions were requested in advance of the meeting:

  • Q: Will there be an on-campus flu shot opportunity for students, faculty, and staff this year?
    • A: Nothing is planned at this time. Elaine Eschenbacher is working on getting more information about what would be possible with People’s Center.
  • Q: What are the next steps for faculty and staff who are out of compliance with the vaccine mandate?
    • A: Dawn Miller responded to this question in the meeting. Dawn stated that Augsburg is waiting to finalize the policy once they receive final guidelines from OSHA. Reminders have been sent to faculty and staff who are out of compliance.
  • A COVID Task Force member asked a follow-up question: Can the final compliance policy be sent out to all staff and faculty once completed? (Not just those who are out of compliance)
    • Answer from Leif Anderson and Dawn Miller: Yes. The policy will be sent to everyone’s email and will also be published on the HR website and in other areas.

Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.

The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.

Covid-19 Task Force Update

Header: Agusburg Staff. Augsburg Values. Augsburg Contract.

Dear Colleagues, The COVID-19 Task Force had a meeting on Thursday, October 14th. Here are the meeting notes from the Augsburg Staff Union representative. Minnesota Department of Health Updates: 

  • There was no general higher education meeting this week. 
  • Updates from Augsburg’s classroom group: Based on their meeting notes, they are looking into advice for institutions on mask mandates. 

Dashboard update: 

  • Overall, Rebecca John stated that Augsburg is doing well. On campus, case rates remain low (2 new cases reported in the past week).
  • The growth in regional and statewide transmission rates for COVID-19 has accelerated over the past week. 
  • Last week, the 7-day case rate in Hennepin County exceeded 200 per 100,000 population for the first time since the peak of the April 2021 wave. Case rates outside of the metropolitan area are even higher, and hospitals statewide are at or near full capacity.
  • Vaccination status will be added to the COVID-19 Dashboard this week (numbers will be updated Friday). Example of what will be on the Dashboard: 
  • Vaccinated students (as a % of all reported): 85.93%
  • Vaccinated Faculty & Staff (as a % of all reported): 97.53% 
  • Students who have reported their vaccination status: 97.79% 
  • Faculty & Staff who have reported their vaccination status: 89.45%
  • 10% of all students at Augsburg have not met our policy (note: you can be in compliance with the policy without being vaccinated) 
  • 6% of the 10% are not vaccinated 
  • 2% of the 10% have their first dose 
  • 2% of the 10% are unknown

Testing access: 

  • Updated Outbreak Planning webpage will include Minneapolis Convention Center option. This will be added to Amail and on digital screens.
  • Testing options added to emails to students from response team.
  • Working on connection with People’s Center for testing events.

COVID policy hold: 

  • Approximately 300 (10%) of students not in compliance with the policy. 
  • Marah Jacobson-Schulte, Katie Bishop, Rebecca John met to confirm the plan for students who have not met the policy. They are targeting an initial email early next week encouraging students to take one of the action options and stay enrolled. 
  • Sarah Griesse, Mike Fetting, and Rebecca to confirm logistics of adding/lifting the holds in Agresso.
  • Questions brought up by COVID Task Force members during the meeting on this topic: 
  • Question: If they have submitted the original exemption form and it got bounced back for more information are they being flagged as compliant or not currently?  And when will answers be given to those that got it bounced back and resubmitted more information on their exemption request?
  • Answer from Katie Bishop: We’re working through those right now.
  • Answer from Rebecca John: Students are not on the policy hold list if they have started the process. 
  • Percentage rate of faculty & staff out of compliance: 10.55% 

CampusClear App

  • Jennifer Bankers-Fulbright, Scott Krajewski, Rebecca John are working on the logic of CampusClear and directing faculty, staff, and students to more situation-specific information. 
  • Working on updating the Exposed to COVID-19 or Feeling Sick? website as well to help direct staff, students, and faculty for updated next steps on what to do.

We set up a Google Form so Augsburg Staff Union members could state their questions or concerns to be addressed at the meeting. Please note: Urgent questions related to COVID-19 should not be submitted via the Google Form, those questions should continue to be sent to helpline@augsburg.edu, calling 612-474-3100, and/or by using the Augsburg self-reporting form.   The interim staff union representative will continue to send weekly updates based on information gathered in the COVID Task Force meetings and questions asked in the google form.